Adirondack Council publishes 29 years of ideas for the park’s future

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adirondack council vision 2050

The cover of the Adirondack Council’s “Adirondack VISION 2050.” (Image: Adirondack Council)

ELIZABETHTOWN, N.Y. (NEWS10) – For the Adirondack Council, vision is everything. The council is a nonprofit stewardship group with a big voice in what goes on in the world of conservation and protection for the Adirondack Park. This week, they’re expanding their vision for the future.

On Tuesday, the Adirondack Council released “Adirondack VISION 2050,” a new plan spanning the next 29 years. The plan contains recommendations and plans for how to continue preserving ecology, sustain the small communities throughout the park, and improve how the 6-million-acre park is managed between now and 2050.

“The park belongs to the wild creatures, the people who live here, those who visit, and those that may never set foot inside the Blue Line, all of whom sustain this park in their own ways,” said Sarah C. Hatfield, Chairwoman of the Adirondack Council Board of Directors. “Its successes belong to all New Yorkers. So, too, does the responsibility to take bold action to preserve this legacy for the future.” 

The 98-page publication is available now online. It’s split into sections on preserving Adirondack communities, fostering a sense of identity within those communities, and managing the park itself. It’s also a trove of pictures that chronicle some of the work that environmentalists and students do to research the park’s ecology.

In a release on Tuesday, council Executive Director William Janeway wrote that although work has been done to keep wild lands safe and reduce pollution issues, the Adirondack Park faces new challenges. Climate change, economic factors and under-funded management all play a part.

“Short-term thinking that is too focused on immediate issues can lose sight of larger preservation goals,” Janeway said. “Lasting protection will require a long-range vision that guides all management decisions year after year. A new vision is necessary to chart a course to a brighter future.” 

The plan outlines 18 strategies and over 240 suggestions that cover a forest of topics. Some of those include a reimagined staff structure for the Adirondack Park Agency; restoration plans for degraded lands; growing a spectrum of jobs for residents of park communities; and a change toward watershed management and regional planning, just to name a few.

Publishing plans like this is typical for the council. Its previous one covered the 30 years between 1990 and 2020.

“When those who care about the Adirondacks see beyond the turmoil of the moment to a shared vision, we can fulfill the promise of a Park where people and nature can thrive together,” Janeway said, “meeting the challenges of our time.” 

Some of the council’s recent work includes a study and report on erosion that has steepened some trails in the Adirondack Park; and calling attention to empty spots on a New York task force to reduce road salt.

The council is looking for financial support in its conservation efforts. Those interested in donating to that future can do so online.

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